What I Don’t Do These Days and Why It Matters

Sometimes people ask me how I get so much done in a day (or a week, or a year). I used to roll my eyes when this question came up because it seemed like people thought I had some kind of secret. But then I realized that I sort of do. (Go figure!)

I do get a lot done. And so can you.

Sure, I’m pretty disciplined by nature and I’ve also built systems that help me stay on track. But that kind of stuff is 100% teachable (just ask the women I coach).

And while it may look like what I’m good at is getting things done…

It’s what I DON’T do that really makes the difference. Twitter_logo_blue

what-i-dont-do

By making choices not to do some things, I get the time and space to make a bigger impact in the areas I care about most.

The things I don’t do?  They change from year to year, as my priorities shift and my family grows.

These days I even have to say no to things I genuinely like to make room for the things I loveTwitter_logo_blue

Curious?  Okay, let’s take a look.

Here are some things I’m currently not doing:

  • Overthinking or second guessing decisions
  • Wasting time feeling guilty about what I’ve said “no” to
  • Trying to figure things out myself when there’s an expert I can call or hire
  • Running marathons (or 10Ks or 5Ks for that matter)
  • Reading novels
  • Leading a scout troop
  • Coaching a soccer or volleyball team
  • Snapchat
  • Drinking more than two drinks at a time
  • Reading a daily newspaper (long live The Skimm)
  • Commuting downtown to get to work
  • Clipping coupons
  • Going to stores to buy little things that can be ordered on Amazon
  • Staying up late
  • Accepting board positions that take me away from my kids during the evening
  • Having long talks on the phone with my friends 
  • Watching TV with any degree of consistency
  • Baking elaborate desserts
  • Writing my book 
  • Working on a PhD

Some of those were easy to say no to.

Some were extremely hard to let go of.

Some are still on my radar for a future date.

But that list you just read?  It’s my secret weapon for productivity. I share it with you so that you can develop your own. 

Because here’s the truth.

Even the people who look like they’re doing it all aren’t doing it all. Twitter_logo_blue

The key is to choose your trade-offs. Get comfortable with NO. And then get busy making the impact that only you can make. That’s what truly matters in the end. Impact. 

And promise me this.

When people start to ask you how you get so much done, don’t roll your eyes. Just smile, and then let them in on our little secret.

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